It’s Pride Weekend for the LGBT community in Manchester, and it’s got me thinking about how they’re handled in comics. Marvel has a strong representation of gay and bisexual characters who aren’t defined by their sexuality. They are portrayed as three-dimensional people with their own motivations and flaws. To celebrate Pride Weekend, here are five of my favourite LGBT characters in Marvel.
The son of the Scarlet Witch and The Vision, Billy Kaplan came to prominence as a member of the Young Avengers. Billy was bullied for his sexuality as a boy, but advice from the Scarlet Witch gave him the courage to stand up for himself and he became comfortable in his own skin. For years, Wiccan’s parentage was up for speculation, but there were always hints, as he had the power to warp reality, making him one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe.
As a mage and mutant, Billy needed to come to terms with more than just his sexuality. It took him a long time to control his powers, but he had help from his friends in the Young Avengers and his partner Hulking. Wiccan evolved into a strong leader and his relationship with Hulking has been portrayed respectfully.
My favourite character on the list, Daken is the son of Wolverine. He was cut out of his dead mother’s womb and manipulated into hating his father by Romulus. Daken has used his bisexuality as a weapon to further his goals. In addition to having the powers of his father, he can manipulate emotions by giving off pheromones.
Daken’s intelligence has enabled him to outsmart some of the greatest minds in the Marvel Universe, including Reed Richards and Norman Osborn. For a full breakdown of Daken, you can read my analysis of him here.
America Chavez/Miss America
America Chavez was raised by her mothers, Amalia and Elena in the Utopian Parallel dimension. Her parents sacrificed themselves to seal black holes that were destroying the reality. Wanting to prove herself a hero, America ran away from home and travelled through different dimensions until she settled in the main 616 reality.
Miss America soon joined the Young Avengers and showed off her superhuman strength, durability and speed. Her toughness and take-no-shit attitude are two of her defining traits. As a lesbian and Hispanic woman, America offers a dual identity that’s been represented well.
As a member of Alpha Flight and X-Men, Northstar has helped his fellow mutants save the world several times. Jean-Paul can generate blinding flashes of light, fire concussive blasts and run at superhuman speed. On the surface, he has an abrasive personality that can put a lot of people off. His sarcasm is a defence mechanism against anti-mutant and anti-gay attitudes.
Aldrif was the long lost sister of Thor, kidnapped by the Queen of Angels during her war against Asgard. Aldrif was raised as an angel, but faced prejudice from the community because of her lack of wings. She eventually learned of her true heritage and her relationship with Thor and the other Asgardians has proven to be complex.
Her relationship with the Anchorite angel Sera is a great representation of a non-binary relationship. As a member of the Anchorites, Sera was born a man, but was turned into a woman through magic. Aldrif’s love for Sera shows that she has a softer side when she’s not slaughtering her enemies in battle.
Who’s your favourite LGBT character in comics?